Wizkid’s Essence is the right stimulant for promoting Afrobeats to a wider audience
“Afrobeats to the World” has been a common saying among Nigerians for a long time; with the excellent quality of songs pouring out of the country every week, it was only a matter of time until Afrobeats became a global sensation.
The Nigerian music industry is known for producing high-quality music, but there have been a few songs that have stood out over time.
Since the beginning of time, Nigerian songs have had a wide musical influence around the globe.
However, D’banj‘s Oliver Twist, which peaked at No. 9 in the UK Singles Chart in 2012, went far beyond anyone’s expectations, as it was one of the biggest songs in the UK, which happens to be the world’s top two music industries at the time.
A thousand miles began for Afrobeats music at that very moment.
Wizkid, a Grammy Award winner, has been a force to be reckoned with in the push to expand Afrobeats’ reach and audience outside Africa, along with a couple of other Nigerian singers who have created hit tracks that have gone far beyond Africa.
Wizkid launched Nigeria’s most anticipated album, “Made In Lagos,” in the fourth quarter of 2020. The record was in the works for three years before finally seeing the light of day in October.
When the album was released, the quality of the tracks made it difficult for fans to choose a favorite.
One of the fan favorites is track 11 “Essence ft Tems,” a mid-tempo song where Wizkid showcased his lyrical prowess and flaunted his melody abilities, while Tems delivered a catchy hook with her mesmerizing vocals.
They shared great chemistry, which you can feel in the song.
The iconic Beatz & P2J produced single increased in popularity day by day, went viral in South Africa, spent weeks on their charts, and when the video was released 5 months later, it picked up speed and attracted even more attention, signaling the start of a magnificent time.
The wave was strong in the UK before Essence caught the attention of the black population in the United States, and it lasted six weeks at the top of the UK Afrobeats charts.
The streams started expanding quickly, according to Wizkid‘s official Twitter fan page “Wizkid News,” with the song getting the most daily streams on Spotify and Apple Music every day.
However, the streams correspond to the number of interactions around the song across various social media platforms.
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Essence became everyone’s favorite, it became everyone’s go-to music for Instagram stories, it began to receive “Song of Summer” shouts in the United States, and American celebrities began to jump on the bandwagon, with the song playing in almost all of their Instagram stories.
When the song is played at parties, concerts, and shows, you can see people’s faces light up as they sing along.
The song’s popularity has moved to other nations such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, France, and Canada.
Essence has received widespread acclaim from music fans around the world, something that has eluded Nigerian songs for decades, with acceptability previously limited to certain regions.
All Afrobeats songs that hit the mainstream audiences in the US in the past have enjoyed promotional backings in one way or the other, but for Essence, it picked up the pace on its own before getting strategic promotions.
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Make no mistake: the song did not grow spontaneously to the point where it required only minor aid to climb the hill that stood in its way.
After debuting at number 19 on the Billboard Bubbling 100 without radio airplay, Essence realized it required a ladder to climb the hill that stood in the way of reaching the Billboard Hot 100.
However, it was sent to radio afterward and eventually made an entry on Billboard Hot 100 chart, debuting at number 82 with 3m radio audience and over 40k units sold.
Meanwhile, a couple of Afrobeats songs have had more than 10m radio audience in the US without making an entry on Billboard Hot 100 chart, only 1 Afrobeats song has made an entry on Billboard Bubbling 100.
Afrobeats has gone a long way, and its status as a focal point in the United States is a significant milestone for African music.
The fact that it is a collaboration between two Nigerian singers who are popular with mainstream listeners in the world’s largest music industry adds to its uniqueness.
Years ago, even with a collaboration with an American artist, it seemed unattainable, but Essence, a collaboration between two Nigerian musicians, rose steadily to the point of selling over 80k pieces in the United States in a week, and it’s a lovely sight to watch.
Every artist’s aim is to have a commercially successful song in the United States, as it is the world’s largest music market. When a song goes viral in the United States, it’s only a matter of time until other countries follow suit.
On the Billboard Hot 100, Essence debuted at number 82. That was a watershed event for Nigerian music and African music in a long time; decades ago, African music had commercial success and massive audiences; now, Essence is bringing African music back into the forefront in the world’s major music industry.